This year marks 250 years from the birth of Johann Karl Simon Morgenstern, founder of the University of Tartu Art Museum, long-time director of the university library and professor of rhetoric, classical philology, aesthetics, literary and art history. To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the professor who spent 50 years of his life in Tartu, an exhibition titled “The enchanting art of stone cutting. Morgenstern 250” will be opened at the University of Tartu Art Museum on 11 June.
An art museum was established at the University of Tartu in 1803 at the initiative of Johann Karl Simon Morgenstern to illustrate lectures and develop the aesthetic taste of the students. For this purpose, the museum collected prints, paintings, drawings, ancient Egyptian and eastern artefacts, ancient Greek and Roman coins and ceramics. In terms of volume, out of any other items Morgenstern bought the most of plaster casts of ancient gems, which provide an inexhaustible source of images about the antiquity. The new exhibition takes a closer look at the now forgotten art of stone cutting.
The curator of the exhibition is Jaanika Anderson, the University of Tartu Museum’s Director of Research, it is designed by Mari Kurismaa and the graphic solution was authored by Mari Kaljuste. The exhibition is in Estonian and English and is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. The exhibition is available until 26 March 2021.